A forum is a web application for holding discussions and posting user-generated content. Internet forums are also commonly known as Web forums, message boards, discussion boards, discussion groups, discussion forums, bulletin boards or simply forums. Forums are often divided within few groups or sub forums depending on topics that help its users to easily access the information they want by searching within a particular topic and also to post their question in most relevant subforum to get quick response by other forum members.
Forums are also very useful for Search Engine Optimisation. Often forums have an option to its members to have a signature link as a reference. Members can add their websites or blogs and also their favorite quotes in their signature links and that signature link appears in each and every time they post any thread or reply to any thread in natural way. But some people start misusing forums and start spamming forums by making posts that have little or no meaning and useless to other members.
Forum spamming is a black Hat SEO technique where users repeat the same word or phrase over and over, but differs from multiple posting which sometimes has malicious intent. This is a common trolling technique. It can also be traditional spam, unpaid advertisements that are in breach of the forum rules.
Below are some useful tips that can help a lot to avoid forum spam:
1. Using Captcha or Human Validation:
Having an option for captcha or human validation may help you a lot to avoid spam to your forum. In this option there is an application where people have to submit some characters into a box that appears in an image along with that box and randomly change each time for new post.
2. Using Email Verification: Make sure to have an option for Email verification that ensures members to activate an email before they can post anything. That includes a profile link which emailed to members email and member has to click on that to activate his or her membership.
3. Limiting Number Of Link In Signature: Some people use to have a lot of links in their signature links to spam a forum. Make sure to have limited number of links to use as signature links and having maximum of three links will be good.
4. Avoid Posting of Links From New Users: Do not allow new members to post live links of any other site no matter that is useful or not. It will better idea to allow new members to post live links only after they become regular and active member of the forum and have posted a number of useful posts.
5. Limiting Number Of Posts for Signature Links: Do not allow new users for signature links in their posts. Make sure to allow signature links to new members only after posting a number of useful posts or threads to the forum. It will be good to allow signature links after at least 20 or 30 regular posts by a new member.
6. Limiting Post Editing Time: It is recommended to limit the time of editing any post because some spammers edit older posts and either post blatant advertising links, or else hide them in punctuation and invisible images.
7. Block Common Email domains or IPs: Block same email domains or IPs from your admin panel or by using .htaccess file if you find that these are not natural and being used to spam the forum.
8. Having An Active Moderator Team: Having a team of active moderators is very much necessary to watch out your forums on regular basis that will help members to solve their unsolved queries and also warn or ban members immediately if they do not follow guidelines or involve in spamming activity.
Above tips will sure help you to avoid forum spam and make your forums free from spam. If you have any query or suggestions feel free to contact me.